Saint Thomas distinguishes ignorance from mere nescience. The latter he explains to mean the simple absence of knowledge; the former implies absence of knowledge in one who is capable of acquiring it. He proceeds to show that ignorance may easily involve sin, since a person is bound to use all reasonable means in order that he may have the knowledge necessary for the performance of his duties. Thus all men are bound to learn, so far as they can, the general principles of religion and morals; and a man sins grievously who remains from his own negligence in the belief that a false religion is true, or that an unlawful course of action which he is pursuing is really lawful.

MLA Citation

  • Father James J McGovern. “ignorance”. Catholic Pocket Dictionary, 1906. CatholicSaints.Info. 4 November 2019. Web. 6 March 2021. <>